Oct 02, 2021
House progressives hit back Friday night after right-wing Democrats accused them of trying to derail President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda by vowing to withhold support for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill until after the more ambitious $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package is passed.
"96% of Democrats agree on how we deliver the president's entire Build Back Better agenda. A few conservative Democrats are standing in our way of delivering transformational change to families across America."
After House Democratic leadership delayed a scheduled vote on the infrastructure bill, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, issued a statement Friday evening claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) broke a promise to bring the infrastructure bill to a vote this week and accusing members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus of obstruction.
"It's deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached her firm, public commitment to members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote and to pass the once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill on or before September 27," Gottheimer said.
"Along with a group of members, I've been working around the clock to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill," he continued. "But a small far-left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the president's historic bipartisan infrastructure bill."
"We cannot let this small faction on the far left... destroy the president's agenda," Gottheimer added.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), also a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, released a statement accusing Pelosi of delaying the infrastructure bill vote "because some of my Democratic colleagues, in a misguided effort to gain 'leverage' over their fellow Democrats in the negotiations on the separate Build Back Better Act, have threatened to vote against a very good infrastructure bill."
Responding to Gottheimer's statement, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asserted that Pelosi "didn't break any promises."
\u201cThe Speaker didn\u2019t break any promises. The arbitrary date 9 people insisted on was in the Aug rule vote to proceed on a $3.5T bill. That bound $3.5T w/ Sept date. Challenging $3.5 also challenged their date.\n\nThat\u2019s ok! Right > rushed. We can still Build Back Better\u2026 together!\u263a\ufe0f\u201d— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1633148258
Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) tweeted, "What an odd way of saying 'I'm embarrassed by my failed attempt to force an arbitrary deadline in direct defiance of the speaker's originally stated plan. I will stop taking the American people hostage moving forward.'"
"Let's be clear," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), "96% of Democrats agree on how we deliver the president's entire Build Back Better agenda. A few conservative Democrats are standing in our way of delivering transformational change to families across America."
\u201cIt\u2019s not investing in roads and bridges OR in people and communities. \n\nIt\u2019s BOTH \u2014 and it\u2019s time. Let\u2019s deliver on the President\u2019s entire Build Back Better agenda.\u201d— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@Rep. Pramila Jayapal) 1633190401
Progressive observers also pushed back against Gottheimer and Murphy, with some noting that they are two of the most corporate-friendly House Democrats.
"We cannot allow the 'far left' to destroy the president's agenda, claims private equity favorite Rep. Gottheimer, conveniently ignoring the fact that the president himself has come out today against Gottheimer's position and in favor of the 'far left' of the party," tweetedMSNBC's Mehdi Hasan.
More Perfect Union's Max Berger tweeted: "The only faction trying to destroy the president's agenda is the Problem Solvers Caucus. The Progressive Caucus--and the Democratic caucus--is trying to pass the president's agenda."
Meanwhile, House progressives drew praise Saturday for holding the line and insisting the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better budget reconciliation package--which contains sweeping social welfare and climate provisions--is passed before the infrastructure bill.
\u201cCongrats to the House Progressive Caucus and other Dems who insisted that Congress pass BOTH the Infrastructure Bill and the Reconciliation Bill. Now is the time to stand with working families and take on the greed of\u00a0Pharma, the fossil fuel industry and the billionaire class.\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1633187593
"Now is the time to stand with working families and take on the greed of pharma, the fossil fuel industry, and the billionaire class," tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
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